Do you want to be a part of a professional team that changes lives for the better? The Operating Department Practice course gives you the skills to play a valued role in the operating theatre with the chance to progress into leadership roles.
As an Operating Department Practitioner, you’ll have many responsibilities. Whereas nursing focuses on a range of areas around healthcare, Operating Department Practice studies has a direct focus on care within operating theatres and other associated areas. You’ll experience working in a complex care environment, helping patients through vulnerable times in their lives.
We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.
For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.
At BNU, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union has been ranked in the top three in the UK in the National Student Survey (NSS 2020). We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich your university experience. It’s a big deal!
Why study this subject?
Demand is high. Operating Department Practitioners are sorely needed in hospitals all around the country. Operating Department Practitioners (ODP) are registered Allied Health Professionals (AHP) that are specifically trained and work within the Operating Department and associated areas. This incorporates working within a multi-disciplinary team providing high quality, individualised care for patients throughout their perioperative journey and beyond.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
We've been running our Operating Department Practice programmes for many years and have a high rate of employability. 98% of our students are in employment or in further study six months after graduating (HESA 2020). Many of our students are employed by the Trust that they worked with during their time at the University.
You will benefit from an excellent standard of teaching provided by staff from the University and practice, in partnership with our NHS Trust partners. As well as this you will be taught by lecturers who have a wide expertise in the field. Our lecturers also maintain close links with practice, ensuring that the programme is up-to-date with modern practice.
We have simulation facilities to enable you to practise your skills in a realistic and safe environment. We offer continuous support throughout the programme, both in the University and in practice.
You will receive personal tutoring and benefit from a high level of research within the teaching team. As well as this, all students are given the opportunity to achieve additional clinical qualifications, such as the Immediate Life Support award which is delivered at the University, prior to completion of your studies. Interview preparation, specific to the clinical environment, is also provided within the programme.
Students will have the opportunity to put learnt skills into practice through a range of clinical placements. We're renowned for the support we offer you while you are on placement.
What facilities can I use?
We utilise state-of-the-art simulation facilities for learning, development and practicing of skills and are winners of the Guardian University Awards for our innovation and use of simulation to enhance our healthcare students’ learning.
We've invested in some of the best equipment for our students to practice their skills. We have an ultra-modern simulated operating theatre with the latest high fidelity simulation manikins where students can learn in a safe environment prior to entering their clinical placement.
The use of the state-of-the-art simulation suite is incorporated throughout the programme to ensure you have access to specialist equipment within a safe environment prior to exposure during your clinical placements.
What will I study?
Throughout this programme you will gain real life experiences as well as receive the theory behind the perioperative environment and care delivery. Upon successful completion of the programme you will receive the award that leads to eligibility to apply for admission on to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Register.
You will gain the key knowledge and skills to achieve what is both required and expected within the contemporary healthcare setting through classroom based teaching, use of our simulation suite, and clinical placement throughout the duration of study.
On your placement, you’ll be placed in the operating theatre setting within one of our trusts where you will be mentored in the art of patient care.
To help prepare you for a career within the Operating Department and associated areas, you are required to keep a portfolio of evidence and work within the requirements of the professional body. Our programme incorporates a unique ePortfolio that you can engage with throughout the programme, helping you to develop the skills required to integrate the concept of lifelong learning within your professional careers.
The lecturers have been incredibly supportive and helpful and created an environment where it has been enjoyable to learn the foundations for, what can be, a challenging career. The best advice a lecturer has given me during the course is “You get out of it what you put in”.... this has never been more true.Jennifer Brown
How will I be taught and assessed?
This course is offered as a four-year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate degree.
Within the Operating Department Practice programme, we use a variety of teaching and assessment methods to help you succeed. You’ll benefit from simulation sessions, lectures, seminars, group activities and student-centred approaches to ensure readiness for professional registration and autonomous clinical practice. We link theory to clinical practice and patient care. Clinical placements will be undertaken throughout the programme, incorporating on-going assessment within the clinical environment.
Assessments are undertaken both within the University setting and the clinical placement using a variety of techniques and approaches to create a balanced programme.
As clinical practice is a large part of the course, we have many trusts that provide clinical placements for our students. You’ll have the chance to gain experience in fully functional clinical settings.
When you go out onto your practice placement, a clinical member of staff will provide mentorship, supervise your experience and assess that you are meeting the requirements of the course.
Our students are highly respected within the Trusts and clinical areas in which they work. The main NHS Trusts we are currently working with include:
- Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
- Frimley Park Hospital (Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust)
- Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust.
- Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals (Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust)
- Luton and Dunstable University Hospital
- West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust
- East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust
- Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust
Just as in a real operating theatre, we encourage inter-professional working. Our students work in a wide variety of different environments with different professionals. You’ll be taught by staff who still practice in theatre, keeping their own skills as sharp as a scalpel.
BNU is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.
We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.
Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student, to increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.
Being a mature student, I needed to be sure that I was making the right choice. BNU offer a very comprehensive syllabus and the knowledge and support from the lectures is exceptional, they are passionate about their subject and they want each of us to succeed and be the best of best!Jo Taylor
What are the course entry requirements?
Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year. If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about our General Entry Requirements.
This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.
Year 1 Modules
Preparing for Success: Knowledge and creativity
Preparing for Success: Self development and responsibility
Inquiry and research skills
Ways of Learning about the Social World
Year 2 Modules
Foundations of Perioperative Practice
Applying Academic Skills to the Perioperative Environment
Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology
Engaging in Perioperative Practice
Year 3 Modules
Applied Anatomy and Physiology
Developing within the Perioperative Environment
Applying Evidence to Perioperative Care
Expanding Skills within Perioperative Practice
Year 4 Modules
Coaching and supervision of others within the Perioperative Environment
Leadership in Perioperative Practice
Research in Operating Department Practice
Creating Autonomy within Perioperative Practice
How much does it cost
Home and EU
Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022
£9,250 per year
International, Academic Year 2021-2022
£13,750 per year
What are my career prospects?
Working alongside other professionals, such as nurses, surgeons, anaesthetists and health care support workers, care will be delivered to patients during all three phases of this acute care environment.
This is achieved through direct patient contact and care delivery, in addition to demonstrating a high level of knowledge/skill within the management of specialist equipment and materials related to this highly technical area. Patient safety is a priority within this field of care and ODP’s are required to demonstrate high standards in relation to professionalism, advocacy and decision making.
Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.
Although you will be employed within operating theatres, you’ll still be able to work in other areas. The theory and integrated practice that you learn throughout the course will help you work in a variety of clinical areas. These may include:
- Trauma teams
- Accident and emergency departments
- Resuscitation teams
- Transplant teams
- Intensive Care Units
- Patient transfers
- Research, education and training
- Special Care Baby Units.
You can also choose to stay on at Buckinghamshire New University and study one of our postgraduate or professional courses or choose from our range of short courses to continue your professional development.